Islamabad United and WWF-Pakistan launch 2018 plantation campaign

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Islamabad United and WWF-Pakistan pledge to plant 1,400 indigenous trees in Islamabad in 2018

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Islamabad United cricket team and WWF-Pakistan have launched a tree plantation drive as part of the 1Run1Tree campaign to work towards a greener and climate resilient Islamabad.

During the launch ceremony of the event organized at Fatima Jinnah Park participants from both organizations planted species of Orange and Amaltas trees.

Both WWF-Pakistan and Islamabad United committed that a total of 1,400 indigenous trees will be planted in the 2018 season.

“Today, we are starting by celebrating Pakistan’s monumental win at the ICC Champion’s Trophy last year by planting 1,400 indigenous trees in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan,” said Ali Naqvi, Owner of Islamabad United.

Naqvi shared that the Islamabad United (IU) team firmly believes that the environment is key to reshaping our society for a better future. He further said:  “IU has been carrying out events with WWF-Pakistan to encourage people to join such initiatives that aim to protect environment in general and snow leopards in particular. We have pledged to plant a tree for every run that is scored, and 10 for every wicket that is taken, by Islamabad United players in the PSL and the Pakistan team at ICC events.”

Misbah-ul- Haq, Captain Islamabad United cricket team lauding the efforts of both organizations said that global warming and climate-related impacts are occurring across Pakistan and over many sectors of the economy.

“With the commitment to support the plantation drive by Islamabad United is leading the way towards sustainable solutions to deal with these challenges,” Misbah said.

The best part of the tree plantation campaign is that the Islamabad United team has pledged to to promote indigenous tree plantation.

The main purpose of the drive is to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, reduce carbon emissions and increase urban green cover in the city while promoting a healthy environment for sports to flourish.

The lack of green belts and increased concrete cover which absorbs heat, has led to elevated temperatures in Pakistan. Furthermore, new development projects and housing colonies are threatening the existence of greenery and the subsequent cutting of trees not only escalates greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions but increases temperature and vulnerability to extreme weather events.

Speaking on the occasion, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan said that according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the year 2017 was among the three warmest years on record. Hence, there is an urgent need to connect people to nature as part of our shared responsibility and sustainable future.

“Pakistan has the highest annual deforestation rate in Asia and forests cover is less than 2.5 percent of the total land”, Naqi Khan said, adding that “there is an urgent need to initiate massive plantation drives in and near metropolitan cities like Islamabad to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.”

He also shared that although Pakistan is not contributing much to climate change it ranks among the top ten most vulnerable countries; exposed to its adverse impacts. He emphasized the need of public-private partnerships to promote the cause of the environment in the country.

While, Sanaullah Aman, Executive Director General Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad said that “Trees are essential to life on Earth, and provide vital ecosystem services like clean air, water, food, timber, medicine and many other benefits.”

He also shared that with climate change rising on the global environmental agenda, we need to value and conserve trees and forests that help reduce carbon emissions and provide livelihood opportunities to local communities.

Students from private, government and less privileged schools also participated in the activity.

Nuxhat Khurshid
Nuxhat Khurshid is a passionate writer, reader and documentary-maker. She mostly writes on environment, climate change and development issues for Islamabad Scene.

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